Sociologist Mark Regnerus recently penned an essay for Public Discourse in which he discusses two competing understandings of human dignity. Dignity 1.0, as he calls it, "refers to the idea that humans have 'inherent worth of immeasurable value that is deserving of certain morally appropriate responses.'" This kind of dignity is essential. It precedes the individual. It makes demands upon us. When a person acts "undignified," it is this first kind of dignity that they have violated. Dignity 2.0, on the other hand, "entrusts individuals to determine their own standards." This kind of dignity is the kind that results from "being true to yourself." It is a product of individualism; a byproduct of authentic expression that answers to nothing and no one outside itself, consequences be damned.
I found myself thinking on this distinction when I came across an article discussing a new reality television series called "Born in the Wild," which will document the experiences of women who choose to give birth unassisted and outdoors. According to a Lifetime network executive, "These are all people who have already had babies in hospitals who had unsatisfying experiences and who are choosing to have different experiences. This is something people are doing and we set out to document it."
He is correct. This is something people are doing. In the past decade or so, there has been a small but statistically significant move away from hospital birth towards midwife-assisted home birth. It has become a powerful and persuasive movement, particularly among middle to upper class white women. I do not doubt the sincerity and best intentions of women who choose this route, but I do believe that it is a misguided and reckless choice based upon the wrong motives. This trend is only possible in a culture that views motherhood through the lens of Mark Regnerus's "Dignity 2.0" paradigm, instead of viewing childbirth as a profound responsibility in which the health and welfare of the baby is of primary importance. more >>
WASHINGTON – United States Senator Rand Paul stated that "judicial activism" can be a force of good in American politics.
At an event sponsored by the conservative group the Heritage Action for America, the outspoken libertarian-leaning Republican told those gathered Tuesday morning that judicial activism can play a positive role in public policy.
"There is a role for the Supreme Court to mete out justice. The Fourteenth Amendment gives the Supreme Court, gives the federal government a role in saying the states can't do certain things," said Sen. Paul. more >>
The pattern is now completely predictable: Gay activists and their allies overplay their hand, and the liberal media says, "Well done! We fully support your intolerance."
Last week, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed fired Kelvin Cochran, the city's fire chief with 30 years of service behind him. As the mayor's statements made abundantly clear – and as we documented in the article, The Mayor of Atlanta Declares War on Religious Freedom – Cochran was fired because of his biblical beliefs that homosexual practice was abhorrent in God's sight. (Cochran also spoke against fornication, with specific reference to heterosexual promiscuity, along with bestiality, pedophilia, and other sexual sins.)
The mayor's actions were so egregious (in keeping with the pattern of intolerance in the name of tolerance) that Christian leaders, both national and local, gathered in Atlanta on Tuesday to protest Cochran's dismissal. more >>
The Department of Labor announced that 252,000 new jobs were added to the U.S. economy in December. The Obama administration is trying to pander to voters by touting a recent decline in government unemployment figures, but the official unemployment figure is dishonest because it excludes from the count the million unemployed Americans who have given up looking for a job. You don't count as "unemployed" unless you are actively looking for a job.
Prospects are especially dismal for those who have been out of work for a half-year or more. A shocking 31.9 percent of the unemployed, about 2.8 million, have been out of work for 27 or more weeks, and that figure remained virtually unchanged last month despite rosy claims by the Obama administration.
You would never know that by listening to spokesmen for the Obama administration. Obama's administration claims that unemployment has fallen to 5.6 percent. In fact, the more accurate U-6 unemployment rate was twice as high, 11.2 percent for December. more >>
No, he hasn't stepped down from the presidency, but President Barack Obama has effectively abdicated his role as "Leader of the Free World." With the headlines in newspapers all over the world focusing on the leaders who gathered in Paris for the massive solidarity march last weekend, the absence of President Obama—and any other top administration official—could not have been more glaring.
This was not a case of "leading from behind." Former President Theodore Roosevelt famously led from behind in the 1910 London funeral march for King Edward VII. Placed in the last rank of world monarchs and heads of state, TR nonetheless commanded attention from the sheer force of his personality—and by his presence.
No, this was a case of abdication. President Obama was expected to be there. His absence spoke volumes. Instead of showing solidarity with the French in their hour of agony, he watched football on TV. more >>
President Obama came to Knoxville, Tenn., last week to give away $60 billion more in taxpayer money. He said he wants to give most everyone free community college. What a guy! There is nothing more magnanimous than giving away other people's borrowed money to political supporters.
Obama was elected with the support of college kids, the unemployed and union members, the same cohorts who elected Budweiser "The King of Beers," and for the same reason. Obama and Bud both provide a temporary, drunken, feel-good shield from reality – until you sober up, and the tab comes due.
In a Pew study, 57 percent of parents say higher education no longer provides value for the money spent. Parents have to start considering outrageous college costs within the framework of the basic tenets of economics. That way, their kids do not become tenants in their parents' basements. more >>